02:50 GMT01 November 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has again delayed a measure preventing bondholders of seizing majority ownership of the US-based petroleum refiner and marketer CITGO, which was pledged as collateral in an earlier bond sale by Venezuela's state owned oil company PDVSA, the US Treasury Department announced in a notice on Wednesday.

    "All transactions related to, the provision of financing for, and other dealings in the Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. 2020 8.5 Percent Bond that would be prohibited by Subsection l(a)(iii) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13835 of May 21, 2018", the notice said.

    PDVSA defaulted on an 8.5 percent bond that had been secured with a majority stake in CITGO, prompting the Treasury Department to impose sanctions that block bondholders from gaining majority ownership of CITGO. The sanctions were originally set to expire this month.

    Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, which the United States has sought to remove from office, claims Washington is trying to steal CITGO.

    On 22 September, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced fresh sanctions against five Venezuelan individuals. The Treasury Department said they were current or former members of the Venezuelan government who had colluded with Maduro in a scheme to manipulate the parliamentary elections and to undermine any credible opposition challenge to the government. Maduro condemned the sanctions calling them illegal.

    In January 2019, Venezuela plunged into a political crisis when the then-head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to oust reelected President Maduro from power. The United States and most Western countries have endorsed Guaido and slapped crippling sanctions on Venezuela. Russia, China, Turkey and other nations have supported Maduro.

    creditors, sanctions, Venezuela, US
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